Giant Seawall Won
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta â€“ 09/02/2011
The city administration defended on Tuesday the construction of giant seawall off the northern coast of Jakarta, arguing that it won't be another expensive "white elephant".
Deputy Jakarta governor Prijanto said that the seawall could work as a long-term solution for the city's persistent inundation problems.
"I don't want us to think about building it [the sea wall] when Jakarta is already underwater," Prijanto said in a discussion.
He said that land sinkage and rising sea levels were clear and present dangers for Jakarta.
As part of efforts to deal with the persistent problems with flooding in the capital, the city is expected to build a massive seawall spanning 60 kilometers from Tangerang on the west end of the city to Bekasi in the east.
A feasibility study conducted by the Jakarta Coastal Defence Strategy (JCDS) consortium, which is partly funded by the Dutch government, said that the seawall would be able to help in coping with land sinkage and rising sea levels reportedly caused by global warming.
Jakarta is one among many cities in the country with some areas below sea level. Forty percent of Jakarta's land is below sea level.
A study conducted by the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) discovered that the sea level in Jakarta Bay area had been rising at a rate of 5.7 millimeters per year.
A project study kicked off in December last year and is expected to wrap up within three years. The city expects to have the seawall ready by 2025.
Early studies of the project have mulled a number of options on how to develop the seawall.
Among the options includes erecting the seawall beyond the perimeter of the current northern coast reclamation project. Another proposal suggests the wall could also serve as a bridge that would connect certain islands in the Thousand Islands. The city is also considering constructing a toll road along the sea wall connecting the eastern and western regions of Jakarta.
Governor Fauzi Bowo signed an agreement with the city of Rotterdam on Monday under which Jakarta would receive assistance in dealing with flooding in the city, including expertise to assist construction of the sea wall.
Rotterdam has helped Jakarta over the past two years by providing knowledge on drainage system maintenance.
An official with the city of Rotterdam said that it expected to have the final design for the seawall ready by July this year.
"We hope that the design for the seawall, which will be integrated with the flood mitigation system, will be ready this summer," Rotterdam administration climate affairs director Paula Verhoven said, as quoted by Beritajakarta.com.
Verhoven, however, said that the city of Rotterdam would only provide technical assistance in the construction of the seawall and the Jakarta city administration would decide for itself the best solutions for flood problems.
She said that in spite of the planned seawall, the city administration needed to have a long-term and sustainable plan to deal with floods.
"The implementation of the design should serve as a momentum for the city to have an integrated solution to flood mitigation," Verhoven said.